You are all ready to leave for work and here comes your kid to explain all the details of that drawing that he has put on paper. You might be hearing him out but not ‘listening’.
So here on, an interesting add-on to acknowledge is hearing is not equivalent to listening.
We hear the sounds of birds, animals, a cell phone ringing, machines operating, vehicles running on roads, or people chatting around ‘subconsciously’ without putting much effort into it.
Active and efficient listening is more than that. Listening requires immersing and absorbing yourself in a conversation without the urge to interrupt or juggle with the thoughts and programming a reply.
Now, why is listening so important? Just recall any occasion when you narrated some incident to anyone and they listened to it with utmost attention and interest. How elated you had felt then. When someone is heard effectively, they get a sense of acceptance and belonging. Likewise, a child’s innocent narration of anything to his or her parents means a world of happiness for him when he is heard with full attention.
Genuinely, listening is one of the vital communication tools and sadly it is also the most neglected one.
A lot has been said and written about other components of effective communication like speaking and writing but when it comes to listening there is scanty information.
Most of us are interested to speak, but very few people are interested to lend a sincere ear to someone else.
The reasons behind so many arguments, miscommunications, fights, or discords include our failure to listen to what other is saying, or even if we listen, we do it least efficiently.
The same goes for children; when they are not actively heard, they slowly drift away from expressing themselves. What might seem minor issues, in the beginning, might be detrimental and impact their developmental process over the long haul.
Typically, kids do not follow any set timings to speak up to you for any query or anything that they want to share. They might show up when you are on an important call or maybe at a gathering.
This is the real challenge when you are doing something utmost important and they need you to be there mentally. Reassure them you’ll revert as soon as you are done with the task you are in so they won’t feel shunned or unattended.
When you are letting them spill their thoughts without interrupting or correcting them in the midst, you are giving them their space to blossom and broaden their horizons.
You are letting them nurture this innate and lost skill of listening which will immensely enhance and elevate their personal and professional lives in the future.
The writer is a general physician, content creator